Dec. 1, 2000
This page is the first in The Meridian Star's new initiative to deliver more about the outdoors to our readers. Outdoors now has its own page presented as a stand-alone unit with an eye toward future expansion into a full blown section.
I take on my new role as Outdoors Editor with the same humbling feelings I had when The Star published my first outdoor column almost 30 years ago.
Although I had been an outdoor columnist for a newspaper in Texas, The Meridian Star was the first to pay me for my writing. And that gave me the confidence to later see my work published in Outdoor Life, Sports Afield, Mississippi Woods and Waters, Buckmaster, Mississippi Game and Fish and other magazines, as well as regular columns in other newspapers. This has grown of late to include several on-line magazines and my book, "Here Where We Belong."
Essential to this undertaking is participation by readers in the form of photographs, personal experiences and feedback. Early feedback is critical as we mold this page into what you the readers want to see when you turn to the Outdoors section. Your comments will help guide us.
Write, call or e-mail me, or tell me in person what is on your mind. We may not be able to accommodate everyone's wishes for every entity on the page, but we will try. And we'll listen your ideas.
The heart of the page will be columns written by Mike Giles, David Hawkins and myself. Mike and David bring a broad range of outdoor experiences, interests and writing talent to The Star. Each of them has exceptional knowledge in many areas.
I can't resist noting a couple of current ironies involving this writing team. David, Mike and I have the first three feature articles listed on the title page of the current issue of Mississippi Woods and Waters Magazine. And get this. A shooting competition is held each year by Remington at the annual conference of the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association. A target group is fired with a new rifle, usually the latest model developed, and the smallest group determines the winner. The rifle is presented to the winner, who competes with more than a hundred writers from 14 states. Guess who won the rifles for the last three consecutive years? You got it. Your three Meridian Star columnists!
Besides these two fine writers, I want to have a guest columnist from time to time to bring further versatility and fresh perspective to the page.
Join us here each Friday, and let us hear from you.
Otha Barham is Outdoors Editor of The Meridian Star. E-mail him at OLBarham1@aol.com, write him at P.O. Box 1591, Meridian, MS 39302, or call him at 601-482-4440.